“Ethereum Project” was first proposed by Vitalik Buterin in a white paper.
Since then many people have contributed work to the project since 2013.
Starting with presale and mining, recently(2018 March) the organization is working to create a new consensus algorithm under development, called Casper.
Now, Ethereum is known as one of the most trusted Cryptocurrency following Bitcoin, and can be exchanged to many other currencies including Bitcoin, USD, EUR and more.
Bitcoin and Ethereum are not competitors, but they each other support the market to grow for better use.